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Aspects II
Build up to the SIno Japanese War
Undergraduate 1

Additional History Flashcards




When was the Sino Japanese War?

The Sino Japanese war 1894 – 1895 was a conflict that was provoked primarily over the control of Korea. Korea had always been a tributary nation to China. By the 1880’s Korea had become economically, militarily and politically weak. At this point in time Korean politics had become extremely fractional. Korea was seen as a highly significant strategic position to hold in East Asia and due to its weak state Japan, China and Russia all expressed interest in the nation. 

What event in 1882 caused great problems in the Korean peninsula?

The great drought of 1882 caused great problems in the Korean peninsula. The food shortages caused by the drought lead to hardship and dispute throughout Korea.  At this point the Korean economy was at an all time low, the government was unable to pay their debts of which it held many to the military. Not surprisingly this lead to discontent among the ranks of the military and on July 23rd a military mutiny broke out in Seoul. The following day the Japanese legation was attacked in further riots. As a response to this attack the Japanese sent four battle ships accompanied with a number of military personnel to Seoul to protect Japanese interests. As a counter to the Japanese forces the Chinese deployed 4,500 troops. Eventually the dispute was settled with the Treaty of Chemuplo, which was signed August 30th 1882.  This treaty stated that all those involved would be punished and 50,000 yen would be paid to the families of the Japanese who were killed. The Japanese government would also receive 500,000 yen as an apology and were granted permission to construct a barracks where a division of soldiers could be housed in Seoul to protect their assets in Korea in the event of another mutiny.


Who  stated that Korea was “A dagger pointed at the heart of Japan.


Major Klemens Meckel advisor to the Japanese military 

Japan thought it necessary to ensure that Korea was not annexed by any nations that may pose a threat to Japan. This anxiety over Korea can be seen clearly in the statement given by Major Klemens Meckel to the Japanese military in which he stated that Korea was “A dagger pointed at the heart of Japan. Japan not only saw Korea as a threat but also as an opportunity for expansion. The Japanese knew that Korea had rich iron and coal deposits that they could exploit and therefor they could use Korea as a means fuel of industrial expansion. At this time Japan’s growing population had not only put strain on the agriculture of Japan but had also created problems for housing. Again Korea was the answer to these issues, Japan saw new land for their excess population and fertile land where food could be grown and shipped back to mainland Japan. 


Why did the Japanese sent four battle ships accompanied with a number of military personnel to Seoul to protect Japanese interests?

Build up to Sino Japanese war 


  • Korean govenment owed Korean military money but Korea was almost bakrupt
  • July 23rd  1882 Military mutinied and attacked Royal palace and the Japanese legation.
  • Japan sent 4 battle ships to protect their interests.
  • As a counter to the Japanese forces the Chinese deployed 4,500 troops.
  • dispute was settled with the Treaty of Chemuplo signed August 30th 1882     (reperations paid to Japan, Japan was allowed a military barracks in Seoul.)     
What did China ensure Japan did in the 1870's.

During the 1870’s China had ensured that Japan recognised Korea as an independent state. 

What even in 1884 left the Japanee feeling that their power had been undermined?

An event that left the Japanese feeling that the Chinese had undermined their power was the Gaspin Coup 1884

In 1884 pro Japanese reformists briefly overthrew the Pro Chinese conservative Korean government. However, the pro Chinese faction with the aid of a Chinese military unit quickly succeeded this coup. During these coups the Japanese legation was burnt and a number of Japanese security were killed. This lead to increased tensions between Japan and China but this was settled by the Japanese Convention of Tientsin of 1885 


What were the three key points agreed on during the Convention of Tientsin of 1885







  • (a) withdraw their forces from Korea simultaneously;
  • (b) not send military instructors for the training of the Korean military; and
  • (c) notify the other side beforehand should one decide to send troops to Korea.

What happened in 1894 that saw Sino Japanese relations worsen?

On March 28th 1984 Kim Ok-gyun was assassinated in Shanghai. Kim was a pro Japanese Korean revolutionary who had sought sanctuary in Japan after the coup of 1984. The Japanese refused Korean request for Kim to be extradited. However, Kim left Japan for Shanghai and there a fellow Korea assassinated him.  Kim’s body was sent back to Korea and there is was quartered and hung on display. The Japanese government took this as a direct assault on their dignity. At this point in time tensions were high but war was by no means imminent. 


What event happened in Korea on the On Jannuary 11th 1894 that led to the Chinese violation of the Convention of Tientsin?


On Jannuary 11th 1894 the Tonghak Rebellion occurred. In response to this the Korean king requested assistance from China to suppress this rebellion. General Yuan Shikai accompanied by 2,500 soldiers were sent to Korea. Chinese troops were not necessary in the quelling of the rebellion, which proved to not pose as much of a threat as was originally thought. The Chinese government did not inform the Japanese government of its decision to send a military force in to Korea.  In failing to notify the Japanese government the Chinese had breached what had been settled at the Convention of Tientsin. 

What happened after the Japanese violaion of the Convention of Tientsin. 

  •  Japan sent an 8,000 man military force to Korea.
  • The Japanese government sent a request to China that they co-operate and reform the Korean government
  • China refused to co-operate with Japan.
  • Korea requested that Japan withdraw it’s 8,000 man force from Korea, the Japanese refused. 
  • In early 1894 Japanese forces occupied the Korean Royal Palace and seized the Korean king. The Japanese proceeded to replace the members of the existing government with pro-Japanese politicians.
  •  Chinese forces were forcibly expelled from Korea. 
  • China did not accept the new government
  • WAR!
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